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Population Projections and Demographics

The state government provides age and sex population projections at several levels:

  • state
  • statistical division
  • statistical local area
  • local government area
  • South Australian government region.

The projections are updated every five years following the release of final figures from the most recent Census of Population and Housing published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Population projections for South Australia and statistical divisions 2011-2041

projected population and demographic change for South Australia infographic thumbnail

These population projections comprise three series (high, medium and low). They reflect the likely range of population futures for South Australia and its statistical divisions. The medium series is the likely outcome at the time of publication, while the high and low series enable management  of risks if a population trend that is higher or lower than the medium series emerges.

The factsheet (PDF, 245 KB) summarises projected population and demographic change for South Australia.

The report on Population projections for South Australia and statistical divisions  2011-2041 (PDF, 2122 KB) summarises the assumptions used to develop the projections and outlines the demographic context of the projection outcomes and their demographic significance.

The projections are based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and supersede those published in 2010. The South Australian Cabinet approved the projections and endorsed their use by State agencies on 10 August 2015.

Local area population projections 2011-2031

Age by sex projections are produced for the 127 statistical local areas, 70 local government areas and 12 South Australian government regions in the State. They are aggregated by five-year age groups for five-year intervals over the period 2011-2031. Because of the inherent uncertainties in small area  projections, it is not appropriate to project beyond a 20-year horizon.

Users of these projections should carefully read the explanatory notes (PDF, 22 KB) before downloading the projections.

Experimental population projections for Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s) and Level 4 (SA4s) 2011-2031

Experimental age by sex projections for the ABS' SA2 and SA4 Geographies for South Australia from 2011 to 2031 for five yearly intervals, based on the Statistical Local Area projections available on this web page.

These projections may be particularly useful for users transitioning to the new ABS geography – Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS, July 2011).

Due to the inherent uncertainties in these projections they are referred to as experimental. Caution should be exercised when using and interpreting these projections.

Before downloading the experimental SA2 projections users should carefully read the explanatory  notes (PDF, 23 KB).

Cautionary note about using population projections

Population projections are not forecasts of the future. They are estimates of the future size, age structure and geographic distribution of populations based on particular assumptions about future fertility, mortality and migration. Actual future populations will vary from these projections.

Current population

South Australia:

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of South Australia at 31 March 2016 was 1,706,500 people. This is an increase of 9,750 people since 31 March 2015 and an annual growth rate of 0.6%. Australia’s growth rate over the same period was 1.4%.

Population growth is driven by natural increase (births minus deaths) and net migration (overseas and interstate).  Net migration contributed 36% of South Australia’s population growth in the 12 months to March 2016.  Positive net overseas migration helped to counter South Australia’s  net interstate population losses.

South Australia's components of growth, 2015-16

2015-2016 Growth 9750 | Natural increase 6200 | Births 19650 | Deaths 13450 | Net migration 3550 | Net overseas migration 9450 | Net interstate migration -5900

Year ended 31 March 2016

More information is available from Australian  Demographic Statistics - ABS catalogue 3101.0 and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's Population Estimates Brief.


Greater Adelaide Planning Region and Local Government Areas:Map of Greater Adelaide Planning Region and Regional SA

The latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics’ population estimates for local areas indicate that 1,417,982 people were living in the Greater Adelaide Planning Region as at 30 June 2015, accounting for 83% of South Australia’s population.*

Of the Local Government Areas within the Greater Adelaide Planning Region, Onkaparinga (168,798) had the highest population, followed by Salisbury (138,535) and Port Adelaide Enfield (123,754).

Mount Gambier (26,348), Whyalla (22,759) and Port Pirie (17,540) had the highest populations of the Regional Local Government Areas. See graphs below.

Estimated resident population by Local Government Area is also available to view in Location SA Map Viewer:

* ABS population estimates are updated at the State level quarterly. Local estimates are updated annually.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ estimated resident population (30 June 2015) by SA2 is available to view in Location SA Map Viewer:

Population change 2008-2013

The population of South Australia continues to grow and its composition is ever changing. In the five year period between 2008 and 2013, South Australia's population increased from 1.59 million to 1.67 million, at an average of 16,432 persons per year.

The following report provides a concise overview of recent population change and demographic trends in South Australia. It also provides important contextual information about South Australia and its regions, and is used in the development of population projections.

Population Change 2008-13 South  Australia and its Regions (PDF, 2356 KB)

Workplace atlas report

The Workplace Atlas Report (PDF, 8396 KB) provides an overview of the nature and geographic distribution of employment in Adelaide. It contains useful maps, graphs, statistics and commentary that identify the locations of employment and describe the characteristics of the  people employed in those locations.

The data used in the report is sourced from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The study area is the Adelaide Statistical  Division, which extends to Gawler in the north, Aldinga in the south and Mount Barker in the east.

Interactive workplace atlas

The interactive workplace atlas is a web-based program that allows users to explore a variety of themes related to employment in Greater Adelaide. It is based on the 2006 Census data but allows a broader range of data  to be presented on the entire Greater Adelaide region. The data can be interactively mapped and graphed at different geographic levels, such as destination zones, statistical local areas, local government areas, state government regions and statistical divisions.

The themes featured  in the atlas include:

  • employed persons
  • gender
  • hours worked
  • method of travel to work
  • worked at home
  • age
  • occupation
  • indigenous persons
  • industry of employment
  • born overseas
  • annual income
  • family composition.

To access and use the atlas:

  1. read the workplace atlas tutorial (PDF, 2472 KB)
  2. read about the limitations of the data on page three of the Workplace Atlas Report
  3. access the workplace atlas.

Journey to work maps

Australian Bureau of Statistics data has been used to create detailed maps outlining how people in Adelaide travel to work. While the maps use data from a previous census (2001), current travel patterns are still similar.

The maps show:

  • where people who live in a given area go to work
  • where people who work in a given area come from.

Age and sex breakdowns of the data and method of travel are also provided:

Contact us

For more information about population projections and demographics email DPTI.PDPlanningInformation@sa.gov.au.